True Drinks has launched a new ad campaign for its "naturally-flavoured" water brand Aquaball, while attacking competitors who also market drinks to children. 

The 12 video spots, released on YouTube yesterday, feature children guessing how much sugar they consume. They then pull a rope with the annual average sugar consumption for US minors falling on them in the form of lollipops, marshmallows and other sweets.

The spots feature bottles of AquaBall, which True Drinks claims is “zero-calorie”, “sugar-free” and "vitamin-enhanced". It is designed as an alternative to juice or soda for children, the company says. 

The bottles appear next to the strapline: “Cut out the sugar, not the fun”. A spokesperson told just-drinks the ads will remain exclusively online for the time being, but "may expand to other platforms in the future". 

Lance Leonard, Aquaball's president & CEO, used the opportunity to attack fellow beverage producers over their stance on sugar and obesity. 

"In light of the global obesity and diabetes epidemic, I am shocked by the lack of response from industry leaders," he said. "They have done little to curb the soaring amount of sugar found in most leading drinks marketed to children, or to create healthier options.

“We hope our video campaign will not only act as a wake-up call to parents to more closely monitor sugar content, but spur an overall industry shift in the overuse of caloric sweeteners." 

Last month, True Drinks announced that Aquaball was being rolled out to 280 Wal-Mart stores across the US.

Soft drink producers in the US are feeling increased pressure over the amount of sugar in their products. Next month, residents in the Californian city of Berkeley will vote on a proposal to implement a US$0.01-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks.